Higher education students’ indoor environmental quality satisfaction benchmark

Suyeon Bae, Caren S. Martin, Abimbola O. Asojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-occupancy evaluation is a well-known research method documenting occupants’ satisfaction with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors. Despite potentially significant roles of gender differences in IEQ satisfaction, it has not always been acknowledged by researchers and findings are debated. Through a self-administered questionnaire over nine years, students (n = 3140) in 11 different higher education classroom buildings in Minnesota, USA rated their satisfaction with 23 IEQ factors. They were most satisfied with overall cleaning and maintenance followed by overall indoor air quality and amount of electric lighting. Students were least satisfied with access to electric outlets followed by daylighting IEQ factors. Mann–Whitney U tests showed that female students were statistically less satisfied with overall thermal conditions and temperature, while male students were statistically less satisfied with daylighting, electric lighting, and view conditions. Subsequent logistic regression analyses indicated the most significant impact of amount of electric lighting. The results imply that once students were dissatisfied with amount of electric lighting, they were more likely to be dissatisfied with the classroom. Despite the significant impacts of all IEQ factors, the different degree of the likelihoods indicates that some IEQ factors may impact classroom satisfaction more than other IEQ factors as indicated by this benchmark study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBuilding Research and Information
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant and University of Minnesota Agriculture Research and Extension (AES) program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Gender differences
  • benchmark
  • classroom
  • indoor environmental quality
  • post-occupancy evaluation
  • students

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